What Is The Cabinet of Curious Places?

The Cabinet of Curious Places will be available to exhibit anywhere, unlike Future Machine and the rituals for when the future comes which are attached to the five places across England.

Despite this, throughout 2024 The Cabinet will be exhibited in the schools, arts venues & community spaces local to the 5 places where interventions take place, as the stories and design of the cabinet emerges. People in each place will be invited to contribute their own artefacts and stories by participating in workshops, drop-ins and interacting through this website, we hope this will facilitate long-term engagement with the stories of when the future comes as well as encouraging people to become Guardians of the Future Machine.

Rachel Jacobs (the lead artist) and the 5 artists & 2 musicians local to each place (Juliet Robson, Frank Abbott, Caroline Locke, Wallace Heim, Esi Eshun, Alex Dayo and Dave Kemp) will work together over 2024 to develop the artefacts and stories contained in the cabinet, whilst building a new collaborative model to sustain the whole project into the future.

We are continue to work with Dominic Price and researchers from the Mixed Reality Lab and Horizon at the University of Nottingham to study the impact of the artwork and Prof Esther Eidinow, Chair in Ancient History at the University of Bristol to explore the importance of the ineffable in the landscape of each place. We are also developing a new research collaboration with Prof Gabriella Giannachi, Professor of Performance and New Media at the University of Exeter exploring the ways we are ‘archiving the future’ throughout the project.

We hope to continue to publish our findings to an international academic audience as well as start a book project that runs parallel to The Cabinet of Curious Places, working with Beam publishing to develop ideas for publishing a 5 yearly print edition exploring the emerging themes of the project.

The Design

The Cabinet of Curious Places is designed to be modular, fold out and in and be adaptable to the spaces, places and contexts where it is installed. 6 boxes can be turned into a larger cabinet and display area, separated out into distinct units, or folded down to one, so that a core ‘cabinet’ can be used to move and contain the stories as a very simple and lightweight object.

Each artist will contribute an artifact and a media element to tell their part of the story. A wayfaring map will be hung as a banner. People who have witnessed the appearances of the Future Machine in each place will be invited to also contribute to The Cabinet. Each distinct part of the story will come together to tell the whole.

The Cabinet (as with the Future Machine) will be created as much as possible from sustainable materials and their provenance will be researched. Any technology will be developed or bought as second hand or refurbished where possible, with the view of being able to be sustained and maintained until 2050. We are also exploring ways to connect The Cabinet to the Future Machine’s solar umbrella.

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